It All Starts With A Cashew Nut
The season of harvesting is over in Mkinga District, and we have bought our first batch of cashew nuts ready in and stored correctly. These cashews are expected on Danish shelves within the next 6 months. We value the traceability of our products, so keep an eye out for stories from the farmers which we will be collecting in the coming weeks.
Sowing the Seeds – The Farmer Program
A key element of our strategy to achieve a sustainable cashew production and farmer-to-market program for Tanzanian cashew growers is setting up a participatory farmer program. At the current stage the Out-Grower team in Mkinga district are working hard at establishing ties to the local communities and engage local authorities. This is a key element in establishing trust and laying the grounds for future cooperation. Last efforts are being put into formulating the standardised manual for the farmer program, based on previous meetings with the district commissioner of Mkinga District.
Together, we are creating a model to develop the farmers economic potential through a systematic approach to intercropping and other potentials, than can be repeated in other Districts and countries. However, to make sure that farmers have true ownership of the process to come, the Out-Growers staff will spend the coming weeks in the field performing a local situation analysis. These introductory measures will invite the farmers to share their knowledge on local farming practices and adapt the farmer program to their setting.
At the same time the local staff will know the offset from which to initiate the organization and training necessary for the farmers to operate and maintain a more efficient and sustainable system of production. Increasing production is a simple matter with the proper training, developing societies in a sustainable and inclusive manner takes cooperation, coordination and open minds. We are all looking forward to starting work with the farmers and share our experiences.
Important elements of the farmer program are agricultural inputs and training. As a business, Out-Growers care deeply about creating local ownership and creating incentive. We do not believe that this can be done by giving free gifts. We are instead setting up a farmer program as a separate business operation. The farmers will be self-financed through micro-loans payable in the course of 12 months. Out-Growers will assist in the setting up of the system and negotiations with micro-finance institutions are in progress.
From raw cashew nuts to eatable good quality exports.
Machinery is needed for processing cashew nuts on a larger scale. From the time that the raw nut starts it’s journey to become a delicious consumer good, a week of processing will take place. Out-Growers are now in the process of setting up a local processing unit, ordering the machines and making sure the processing site complies with international standards and regulations. When finished in October, the first cashew nuts will processed and made ready for exports. These will be some of the few cashew nuts in Denmark, that can be traced directly to their country of origin.